The gas-fired space heater has less Safer to fire, but if it were to catch on fire, the flame would go out immediately because the airflow is blocked. An electric heater has less risk of starting a fire, but if it were to catch on fire…the flames could continue to burn until something intervenes.
Answer: Gas-fired space heaters have a greater risk of catching on fire and they will continue burning even when oxygen is cut off (but in the case of an obstructed vent). Electric powered space heaters can also be blocked by dust/debris and insulation which prevents them from cooling properly and in some cases cause them to overheat and potentially start a fire when they come in contact with combustible materials.
A space heater is a great way to add some warmth and comfort to any home. However, during the winter months when we might be more reliant on heating devices like space heaters, we should ask: which is safer? Gas or electric space heater? Which one has the lowest risk of fire?
What’s at Stake Here?
The stakes are high because if you’re caught in front of a fireplace or woodstove with an unattended flame, there may not be much left afterward. Your clothes will burn right off (and possibly onto anyone else nearby). Materials such as carpet and furniture will quickly combust. Other occupants — human and pet — may find themselves trapped by smoke or toxic smoke inhalation injuries. Not to mention, if you’re trying to get to an exit, slippery flooring may make your escape treacherous.
However, the risks are even higher when using a gas or kerosene heater in a home. Not only does gasoline create a flammable mix with air (which is why it’s so dangerous), but also ignition sources can be everywhere — from a lamp cord that wasn’t made for use near water to a pilot light that hasn’t been serviced recently. When you add up all of these factors and then consider whom they’re affecting, the stakes become terrifyingly high.
The Biggest Danger:
Carbon Monoxide Gas produced by burning fuel poses big problems for humans because it doesn’t dissipate easily — particularly in small homes and well-insulated houses that hold in the gas. As a result, carbon monoxide can build up quickly and painlessly, leading to poisoning and even death.
Electricity Comes Out on Top:
With electric space heaters, there is no combustible fuel involved — which means there’s less risk of starting a fire or sending off deadly fumes throughout your home. When using an electric space heater, you can also avoid any other dangers associated with fuel sources like kerosene, gasoline, etc.
However, it’s important to note that while they are safer than their gas counterparts in many ways; electric space heaters do pose their own set of risks. For example:
They Tip-Over Eas:
Electric space heaters need to be able to provide heat for a while. And that usually means they need some sort of extension cord. If an extension cord isn’t long enough, it can cause the heater to tip over. Which can start a fire or lead to electrical shock if someone touches the exposed prongs while it’s plugged in.
They Are Conservation Realists:
A small electric space heater uses around 1,500 watts on average. So keeping one turned on all day isn’t going to break your energy bill. On the other hand, larger models (that offer more comfort) will use up to 4,000 watts. Which could end up costing you between $100 and $200 extra per month. If you rely on them and keep them running for extended periods of time.
A Great Alternative:
If you want to use a space heater in order to conserve energy. Consider investing in a new form of heat generation largely being driven by technological advances. For instance, infrared heaters are an excellent choice. Because they have the ability to warm up your body temperature. Without heating up the air around you or wasting electricity. You can also read more about these types of portable heaters here
When it comes down to it, electric space heaters are safer than their gas counterparts when used properly. However, if you’re serious about optimizing your safety and minimizing the risk associated with using any type of device. Whether it’s a fireplace, stovetop burner, or even a simple candle. We encourage you to be proactive and educate yourself on how to safely operate these appliances.
An electric space heater only becomes a danger when it is misused, abused or left unsupervised.
The safest approach for you and your family is. To understand the manufacturer’s specific instructions carefully and follow them to the letter.